I understand that the previous iteration of this tournament was highly controversial and flawed, and so I wanted to ask if people would be interested in playing a re-iteration. Since writing the last edition of this tournament, I have learned a lot and been head-editor of numerous tournaments, including ones whose "modern world/other academic" questions have been positively received - thus, I'd like to give this a go again. I think this tournament has potential to appeal to a wide audience beyond "traditional quizbowlers" including people who prefer trash tournaments and the like.
The target difficulty for this tournament would be equivalent to WAO. Currently, my tentative writing/editing squad consists of myself, Naveed Chowdhury, Benji Nguyen, and Jakob Myers; I would be head editor. I would be interested in getting one outside "consultant" to help edit popular culture questions and "smooth over" the tournament and make sure difficulty is relatively reasonable across the board, plus maybe contribute/guest edit as appropriate. In addition, I would like two or three people to Briticize this tournament, and would pay a sizeable cut of the British mirror fees (probably 50% or so) to the people who carry this out.
There would be strictly no editorial commentary allowed - I plan to keep this set as objective as possible. However, I encourage a range of perspectives and source types, ranging from Jacobin to the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to Fox News to whatever - as long as they are factually accurate, or their factual inaccuracies are acknowledged (i.e. feel free to point out accusations of factual inaccuracy, etc.) I hope to promote this via encouraging lots of people to submit!
Kirk Jing would not be involved in the production of this tournament. (He has expressed interest in playing and even submitting a packet)
This would be completely open. I would like to run this as a packet submission optional event, in order to draw on a lot of different ideas, perspectives, etc - since everyone has some niche areas of politics, culture, etc. they are interested in, I'd love to get a little bit from a wide audience. The goal would be to run it as a marquee full-day event for a summer side event weekend. The fee structure would be something along the following lines:
$90-120+ = $60 mirror fee + $30 for staff compensation (+$30/more for host compensation, if a school club hosts) - I would like to pay the staff of summer events like this well, since I am sure many of them would rather be playing and I support good staff compensation. Rather than giving discounts for moderators, I'd rather just pay the mods.
-$40 (from mirror fee) for a packet before 2018 ICT (I want there to be a lot of time to craft this tournament)
-$20 (from mirror fee) for a packet before 2018 HSNCT
-$5 (from host comp if applicable, otherwise from mirror fees) for buzzers
The timing of these discounts reflects my probable writing commitments for ICT/HSNCT.
Everything covered would be "after the fall of the Berlin Wall." My proposed distribution is as follows (submitted packets would require 2/2 "anything" in both of these areas, to cover possible repeats)
- 12/12 "culture" -
2/2 Technology and Internet (video games and stuff go here)
2/2 Intellectual (anything from random thinkpieces to economics to hard phil)
1/1 Games (mainly sports, but stuff like e-sports or poker could hypothetically go here)
1/1 TV and Movies (1 of each)
1/1 Popular Music
2/2 Literature (at most 1 "genre lit" i.e. sci fi/detective fiction/etc. and 1 "trash lit" i.e. Harry Potter/fantasy/comics/manga/etc.) per packet. 1/1 must be Anglophone
1/1 Fine Arts (anything including classical music, architecture, etc.)
1/1 Any Anglophone culture (things not covered and more of the above)
1/1 Any non-Anglophone culture (things not covered and more of the above)
Hopefully this is fairly self-explanatory. Popular culture is encouraged and welcomed, as are things found in normal academic tournaments.
- 8/8 Business, Laws, Institutions, and Politics ("BLIP", I guess) -
1/1 US (Clinton+Bushes 1 and 2)
1/1 US (Obama+Trump)
1/1 South, East, and Southeast Asia (don't write both on the same region)
1/1 Continental Europe + Former Soviet Union
1/1 Middle East and Africa (1 of each)
1/1 Other Anglophone (UK/Canada/ANZAC) + Non-US Americas
2/2 Any/Misc (stuff not covered above and more of the above)
This section encompasses questions from a normal current events distribution, plus some less traditional topics - law, business, finance, companies, etc. Here are some questions from past tournaments that I've helped work on to give you an idea of the range of options for this category:
Stuff from WAO, including some submissions wrote: As an engineer, this person held patents for a wastewater aerator design and designed the "Micro Mod" sailboat. This man performed with Benny Goodman and Stan Getz as a saxophonist, but he was criticized as a musical dilettante in a biography by Paul M. Handley whose title claims that this man "Never Smiles." This man, who propounded the "Sufficiency Economy" theory, was caught in controversy when his son's dog was allegedly named Air Chief Marshal Foo Foo. As a political figure, he intervened in the 1992 Black May crisis and backed a (*) military coup in his country catalyzed by the Thammasat University massacre. In April 2006, an audience with this man may have persuaded Thaksin Shinawatra to resign. Despite his recent death, insulting him remains punishable by imprisonment under lèse majesté laws. For 10 points, name this man who died in October 2016 as the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.
ANSWER: Bhumibol Adulyadej [or Phumiphon Adunyadet or Rama IX; prompt on King of Thailand or Rama]
In the 1970s and 1980s in San Francisco, opponents of development warned that this process would take place. For 10 points each:
 Name this process whereby construction of skyscrapers would allegedly obliterate the unique character of the city and make its appearance homogeneous. This process is named for a place in the United States.
 Opponents of development, particularly those who desire development to be relocated, are today often known by this derisive five-letter acronym.
ANSWER: NIMBY or [Not In My Backyard]
 Development in San Francisco is often impeded by environmental restrictions, many of which are intended to protect this large body of water next to the city. The Golden Gate connects this body of water to the Pacific Ocean.
ANSWER: San Francisco Bay [prompt on partial answer]
Some questions might not fit neatly in specific categories, and could be placed wherever as appropriate. An example might be the following:Stuff from EFT wrote: A director of this ethnicity depicted an ex-con doctor who reads surrealist poetry from his book Roadside
Picnic in the 2015 film Kaili Blues. Keith Quincy’s 1988 book on this ethnic group was cited heavily in a book about one of them who was treated at Merced Community Medical Center for a condition called qaug dab peg [“cow”-dah-“pay”]. Many members of this group live in China’s Guizhou [gwei-“joe”] province, where they are considered part of the Miao people. A family of this ethnicity with an (*) epileptic daughter is the subject of Anne Fadiman’s book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. General Vang Pao led a U.S.-backed “secret army” of these people to attack the Ho Chi Minh Trail. For 10 points, name this ethnic group whose members settled in California, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as refugees from Laos.
ANSWER: Hmong [accept Miao until it is read] <Other, RY>
Under a law passed in February 2015, this city requires home rental companies to ensure that hosts to register with the city or face fines, prompting a recent lawsuit. Congress proposed “Kate’s Law” in response to a murder committed in this city by a homeless immigrant who had been deported five times. Its city council recently reduced allowed annual rent increases from 8% to 5% under its 1979 Rent Ordinance, which covers 80% of its housing and is often blamed for (*) sky-high rents. This is the largest U.S. city which does not enforce immigration law, making it a “sanctuary city,” a policy which is defended by mayor Edwin Lee. The westernmost city served by the BART transportation system is -- for 10 points -- what city, namesake of the Bay Area?
ANSWER: San Francisco <Other, WA>
Tom Vilsack announced steps towards lightening this policy in March 2016, arguing that doing so would massively benefit U.S. agriculture. This policy was strengthened after cargo planes owned by Brothers to the Rescue were shot down, leading to the Helms-Burton Act. A major opponent of ending this policy is a Senator investigated for using underage prostitutes who serves New Jersey. At Nelson Mandela’s funeral, the leader of the country (*) targeted by this policy controversially shook Barack Obama’s hand. This policy was established by John F. Kennedy in retaliation for nationalizing of oil refineries. Obama called for its end in June 2015, to the protestations of politicians such as Marco Rubio. For 10 points, identify this policy that bans American imports and exports to an island ruled by the Castros.
ANSWER: (United States) embargo against Cuba [accept clear equivalents, such as sanctions against Cuba] <Other, WA>
As a recently hired investment banker, you are attempting to finance a company. Before the horrific work hours claim your soul, answer the following related to your task, for 10 points each.
 You suggest that your clients sell a lot of these debt instruments in order to raise money. Examples of these things issued by the U. S. treasury are considered the gold standard for safety in investment.
 Your clients are financially conservative, so you try to make sure the ratio of debt to this quantity remains relatively low. This quantity represents the value of assets minus liabilities.
ANSWER: equity [or equities]
 After painstakingly figuring out how to finance things, you learn that this theorem from finance states that, under certain assumptions, the value of any given company shouldn’t be affected by how it’s financed.
ANSWER: Modigliani-Miller theorem <Other, WA>
It’s estimated that 5-10% of this program’s costs are fraud, including about $1 billion carried out by three Floridians arrested in June 2016. For 10 points each:
 Name this U.S. healthcare program which provides national insurance to persons age 65 and older, as well as those who receive disability benefits.
ANSWER: Medicare [do not accept or prompt on “Medicaid”]
 This name is given to the prescription drug benefit that was added to Medicare as part of the Medicare Modernization Act passed in 2003.
ANSWER: Medicare Part D
 The Affordable Care Act set up incentives under which these groups can earn up to 60% of the savings they generate for Medicare. Pay to these groups of healthcare providers, which have a three-word name, is tied to quality metrics as opposed to a fee-for-service model.
ANSWER: accountable care organizations [or ACOs] <Other, WA>
This company’s CEO Steve Easterbrook reported in May 2016 that recent wage increases had helped reduce employee turnover and boost customer satisfaction reports. For 10 points each:
 Name this fast food company, which turned around years of declining revenue in 2015 and 2016 by revamping its menu, including adding a “breakfast all day” option.
 Hilariously, McDonald’s identifies this country as a “high-growth” target, despite the fact that this country is in recession and has a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 130% . It plans to hold a constitutional referendum in late 2016 over creating a “Senate of Regions.”
ANSWER: Italy [or Italian Republic; or Repubblica Italiana]
 McDonald’s other foreign initiatives include offering salad bars and this grain in the “McDonald’s Next” program in Hong Kong. 2013 was the “International Year” of this grain, which is heavily cultivated in the Altiplano.
ANSWER: quinoa <Other, WA>
This country’s dominant family-owned businesses, which received bailouts after the 1997 financial crisis, have traditionally guaranteed near-lifetime employment. For 10 points each:
 Identify this country, where friction over labor market reforms contributed to a massive upset in April 2016 legislative elections, in which the Saenuri [seh-noo-ree] party shockingly came in second place.
ANSWER: South Korea [or Republic of Korea; or ROK; or Daehan Minguk; prompt on Korea or Hangguk]
 This Prime Minister of Japan has attempted to implement labor market reforms to discourage lifetime employment and encourage flexibility as part of his namesake economic reform program.
ANSWER: Shinzo Abe [AH-bay] [or Abe Shinzo; accept Abenomics]
 In China, the concept of lifetime employment is often referred to as a “rice bowl” made of this material - the term typically applies to people in government positions.
ANSWER: iron (rice bowl) [or tie [TYEH] fan wan; don’t accept or prompt on anything else] <Other, WA>
This standard of judicial review was first established in Footnote Four of U.S. v. Carolene Products and has been called “fatal in fact” for laws because it places overwhelming legal burden on the government. For 10 points each:
 Name this level of judicial review that seeks a “compelling state interest.” This level of review is invoked when a law is found to either infringe on a fundamental constitutional right or burden a “discrete and insular minority.”
ANSWER: strict scrutiny [prompt on scrutiny; do not accept or prompt on “intermediate scrutiny”]
 Many rights are inferred to be fundamental through this clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which protect “any person” from being deprived of “life, liberty, or property.” Incorporation of the Bill of Rights into state laws proceeds through this clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
ANSWER: due process clause [accept answers like “due process of the law”]
 This trait was found to be a quasi-suspect class and thus only received intermediate scrutiny protection in the case Windsor v. U.S. The fundamental right to marriage regardless of this trait was upheld in the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges.
ANSWER: sexual orientation [accept homosexuality and queer and heterosexuality and stuff; don’t accept “transgender” but do accept LGBTQ because let’s not be mean here] <Law, JC>
Anyways, discuss away. Would people like to see this happen? Would they want to write packets? Could this appeal to a larger audience?a question Naveed edited in WAO wrote: You are a medical student. Congratulations! Talk about your life, for 10 points each:
 Your residency matching process is an example of this optimization problem, which takes two groups and creates pairs with one member from each group such that no two individuals would prefer to switch partners.
ANSWER: stable marriage problem [or stable marriage problem; prompt on partial answers]
 For most residencies, you will have to take the USMLE exam to match, but you will also take the COMLEX if you study this type of medicine, which uses OMM and is taught at med schools that do not award MD degrees.
ANSWER: osteopathy [or osteopathic medicine; prompt on DO]
 In order to be admitted into medical school in the first place, you had to take this standardized test. It was recently revamped to provide an average score of 500 instead of 25.
ANSWER: MCAT [or Medical College Admission Test] <Edited>